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Buzz from the Banff festival floor

The 2008 Banff World Television Festival wrapped with more than a few big announcements. In a nutshell:

  • WestWind Pictures announced that Fox Network will be making a US version of “Little Mosque on the Prairie”.
  • Shaftesbury Films added a Digital Division by acquiring award-winning Smokebomb Entertainment.
  • GlassBOX Television Inc. announced $5 million of new venture and strategic investment.
  • Corus Entertainment will distribute original Heavy programming using Husky Media’s global video monetization platform.
  • The Movie Network and Movie Central announced production dates for their original series “Sanctuary”, “Bloodletting & Miracle Cures” and “The Weight”.
  • BBC Worldwide and Temple Street Productions announced BBC Worldwide will acquire a minority stake in Temple Street; the new partnership will focus on development, production and distribution.
  • Discovery Canada announced they will delve into game shows with “Cash Cab,” a version of the British format to be produced by Castlewood.
  • The Canadian Television Fund named veteran broadcaster Paul Gratton its new Chairman.

No shortage of TV business as Banff opens

BANFF, Alberta — BBC Worldwide is taking a minority stake in Canadian TV producer Temple Street to create a Canadian platform for its TV formats. The deal was one of several unveiled Monday as the Banff World Television Festival got under way.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Temple Street will get a first look at formats for which BBC Worldwide has the Canadian rights. And the British company will secure access to Temple Street’s scripted and unscripted programming and formats for international distribution.

The move follows last week’s BBC Worldwide pickup of overseas distribution rights to Temple Street’s new CBC drama “The Session.”

Also in Banff, Canadian webcaster GlassBox said veteran digital media producer Raja Khanna has joined company founder Jeffrey Elliot as co-CEO.

GlassBox, which streams digital media channels, also received a $4.8 million cash injection from a consortium that includes former Alliance Atlantis distribution boss Ted Riley, former Standard Broadcasting CEO Gary Slaight and former CHUM executives Jay Switzer and Stephen Tapp.

In other market action, online producer Heavy Corp. trumpeted a deal to spin off its video advertising platform, Husky Media Canada, into a separate company.

The Husky Media platform features a video skin that allows advertisers to wrap their branded messages around online content for monetization.

Discovery Canada also unveiled its first foray into game shows with “Cash Cab,” a homegrown version of the British format to be produced by Castlewood, the production shingle of TV producer Andrew Burnstein.

Elsewhere, Canadian animation producer Decode Entertainment has licensed the preschool series “Franny’s Feet” to PBS Kids Sprout, and Canadian producer Brightlight Pictures is developing a feature comedy from Brent Butt, creator and star of Canada’s top-rated comedy “Corner Gas.”

Canadian producer Shaftesbury Films said it has acquired Smokebomb Entertainment, the digital content producer, to extend its own content into online and mobile platforms.

Source: Hollywood Reporter